I am reading a great little book on pastoral ministry by Lee Eclov called, Pastoral Graces. A few days ago I came across Lee’s two tips for helping confrontation and thought them worthy to share.
Someone once praised me for being bold in the pulpit. I felt sheepish. I don’t usually find it difficult to be direct when I’m preaching. I don’t consider it a virtue. What is hard is confronting someone personally…I have two suggestions, two spoonfuls of sugar to help the medicine go down.
First, don’t confront someone till you’ve gathered up love for them. I can take awhile, but if you don’t consciously love the person you face, your words will inflict blunt force trauma.
Secondly, smile whenever you can. Come kindly. A sympathetic smile says you aren’t there to hurt them.
Your church family and friends need you to love them enough to confront them when they’re in sin or acting foolishly. Love doesn’t ignore or pretend all is well, love confronts. While you confront, may you do so with these “two spoonfuls of sugar.” May it be received as blessing and not curse. May it help and not harm.